Don’t end up in the dark this Black Friday

Don’t end up in the dark this Black Friday!

Online sales in the US are predicted to increase by over 13% this Black Friday vs. 2015, surpassing $3billion. Is your IT infrastructure up to the challenge [1]?


Black friday image

Recently we’ve been blogging about the importance of a resilient network infrastructure and the impact of large-scale DDoS attacks performed by the Mirai-botnet. The countdown is on until Black Friday 2016 when the online and offline high street will slash prices to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. Originally a US tradition, retailers all over the globe have jumped on this trend to encourage consumer spending, and of course, retail therapy knows no geographical boundaries in a world of e-commerce and online shopping.

Q. When is Black Friday 2016? 

A. 26 November, the day after Thanksgiving in the US

As Black Friday becomes an increasingly commercial event in the calendar and more and more consumers choose to avoid the crowds, data centers have been warned to prepare for a surge in internet traffic comparable to a DDoS attack [2]. Consumers keen to spend simulating an event similar to a cyber-attack? As the temperatures outside drop, this sounds like the perfect opportunity to layer up on your existing network security solutions. Now’s the time to implement system performance tests to simulate incidents and proof contingency plans in the event of a huge influx of web traffic on 26 November 2016.

Did you know? The term ‘Black Friday’ was coined in the 1960s to mark the start of the Christmas shopping season. ‘Black’ refers to stores moving from the ‘red’ to the ‘black’, back when accounting records were kept by hand and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit [3].

Retailers also have a responsibility to ensure customers can enjoy a safe, if somewhat slower, user experience as we all embark on the annual spending spree ahead of Christmas. Spam emails encouraging users to confirm account login details remain prolific, with many posing as legit communications from the likes of PayPal, iTunes and eBay. It’s critical, therefore, that as well as educating consumers about how to protect themselves from fraud, retail businesses start looking outside their networks for threats targeting their business. This way, it’s possible to take preventative action before cyber-attacks are launched.

Advanced intelligence about targeted attacks offers the data your SOC team need to make better informed decisions and perform more efficiently, especially when it comes to Incident Response. In an age where any ‘downtime’ has a lasting effect on any brand’s reputation, operational resilience is valued higher than ever before.

Last year, online consumers in the US spent over $8bn across the 4-day Thanksgiving weekend. The biggest consumer hacks involved malware targeting POS systems in hotels[4].

It’s not too late to boost your business’s security posture in anticipation of this year’s Black Friday. There’s a lot to be gained from events that force us to challenge the way we do things, and change them for the better.

Your cyber security strategy must evolve year-round to adapt to the online high street and support physical retail outlets that rely on a secure internet connection to market promotions and take payments.Up the ante now to avoid disruption at a critical time of year for all businesses.

Talk to us about how quickly you can get set up with our cloud-based cyber threat intelligence platform. It’s a modular solution, so you can configure the threat data you receive completely bespoke to your brand’s needs. Or if you’re feeling greedy, go for all nine. We won’t put you on the naughty list.


[2] Data centre operators warned to prepare for Black Friday traffic surge,  
[3] Black Friday history, 
[4] Kaspersky Lab Black Friday Threat Overview 2016,


Read our free cyber security and cyber threat reports

Read now
Demo Free Trial MSSP